Something I have discovered during my time coaching public speaking is that one of the most important actions you can take to support your improvement (at any level) is to ask for good honest feedback. This can come in many forms – from others or yourself.
Here are some options to consider:
- Have a video camera in the room and film your presentation. This may sound confronting, however it is your camera and you can choose to be the only person to look at it! You can delete it once you have reviewed it or you could keep it to review again or compare your improvement next time.
- Hand out feedback forms. Ask for specific feedback. This could be when you are presenting at a workshop, or training course. Remember this is only feedback and should be taken as such. Do not take any negatives personally, but merely as a way of changing the content or delivery method to improve.
- Have a trusted person in the room who you can ask for constructive feedback. Let the person know prior to your presentation exactly what you are looking for in the way of feedback. Again remember this is one person’s point of view and can be used in a general sense.
- Get a coach. Attend 1:1 coaching or workshop and you will be given great constructive feedback.
- Reflect on your presentation.It is powerful to take some time out just after your presentation to reflect on what worked well and what did not work so well. What to include next time and what can be deleted. You may be your toughest critic, so go easy on yourself. What you see in yourself the audience may not notice. It’s a great idea to use the same format each time you do this, here is an example of some questions you may like to ask yourself:
- What did I do well?
- What can I improve?
- What can I do differently?
- What did I learn?
- Any other observations
If you are serious about improving your public speaking, and you must be because you are reading this, take the time to do all, or most, of the above along with as much practice as you can possibly give yourself.